[Bumped to top of homepage, since there was so much discussion and it scrolled off so quickly. -ed.]
Today, specifically I’m talking about the estate tax and the 18 families that have spent ten years lobbying to save a combined 1 trillion dollars on their taxes. That’s trillion with a T. And that’s one trillion more in debt and deficit spending that you, I, the fence post, and our kids our going to have to come up with. If the repeal of the estate tax becomes final, we are talking about vesting over a third of this nations wealth in the hands of less than 1 percent of the population by the middle of this century. And a population that has never done anything to earn that money.
Anyway, I bring this up for two reasons. Congress is voting on the issue this week and Robe Rtreich did an interesting commentary about it on NPR today. Good analysis about to a recent report by United for a fair economy. View the press release. view the full report.
key quotes from the release:
In a massive public relations campaign, the families have also misled the country by giving the mistaken impression that the estate tax affects most Americans. In particular, they have used small businesses and family farms as poster children for repeal, saying that the estate tax destroys both of these groups. But just more than one-fourth of one percent of all estates will owe any estate taxes in 2006. And the American Farm Bureau, a member of the anti-estate tax coalition, was unable when asked by The New York Times to cite a single example of a family being forced to sell its farm because of estate tax liability.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The estate tax should be regarded as just paying back to the country for all the wonderful things itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s made possible for the people who have that wealth,Ã¢â‚¬? said Bill Gates Sr. in an audio statement played at the press conference. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s any great societal goal being served by inherited wealth. And certainly thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no sensible argument that I can think of for insisting on being able to pass the last penny of $100 million on to your three kids.Ã¢â‚¬?
So generally or specifically, any thoughts on the stunningly interesting subject of tax policy… And recall the days when the income tax started. The tax code ran 14 pages and and your taxes were done on a single page… Now we waist untold millions each year figuring out the loophole riddled tax code that has been written, more or less, by special interest lobbies.
(original time: 7/7/06, 7:57 AM)